Diving into the wretched sea of goregrind, listeners can expect one of two things: music that pushes the human experience to the extreme limits, talking about things that are often considered taboo, or music that is self aware and makes fun of itself and the style in general. This dichotomy of goregrind offers an interesting insight into the genre and is not something that most other styles exhibit. Regardless of the tone in which it is delivered, the subject remains vile and filthy, making it a style that is not everyone’s cup of tea.
For the purpose of this article, two goregrind bands are put under the microscope and though both share a lot of things in common, they’re the polar opposites of what this style of music has to offer.
Serrabulho – Star Whores
Right from the get go, with ‘Pornocchio’, Portuguese four piece Serrabulho make it clear as to which side of the coin they belong to. ‘Star Whores’ is the band’s second full length release and is chock full of ridiculous tracks that has the listener rolling around with laughter. But behind all the nutty samples and crazy shenanigans, Serrabulho prove to be a solid grind band that are capable of making riffs that are insanely fun to headbang to.
The opening tracks ‘Pornocchio’ and ‘Congro’ offer a one-two punch with their heavy slams and tight groove. The way the band mixes humour with extreme music gives them a multi dimensional aspect. For example, the way the vocalist changes his style for comedic effect and mixes pig squeals with some off-kilter clean vocals is commendable. While most of the samples never fail to invoke a chuckle, some (‘Pentilhoni nu Culhoni’) do tend to get a bit annoying over repeated listens. But since these samples are short and usually end within a few seconds, it is but a minor inconvenience that is offset by the tight music. The moments where Serrabulho lets the samples and music intertwine (‘Peidinho Ron Ron’) is perhaps where the band truly shines.
Clearly, the band is not breaking any new grounds with this record. But then again, the band never intended to do that. However, if the band’s intention was to make a fun album with high replay value, then they’ve executed that almost flawlessly. There are elements of death metal in the mix and the music offers a lot of hooks. If you aren’t one for crazy samples, and are interested in just the music, Serrabulho has enough of that too. Tracks like ‘Testicular Torsion’ and ‘Caguei na Betoneira’ are straight up grind tracks with relentless double bass mayhem, pig squeals and a groovy rhythm.
Without a doubt, ‘Star Whores’ is the most fun I’ve had with a metal album in quite sometime and Serrabulho is a band that I’ll keep my eyes glued on for years to come.
Methadone Abortion Clinic – Sex, Drugs and Rotten Holes
On the other side of the goregrind spectrum, lie Methadone Abortion Clinic who released their album ‘Sex, Drugs and Rotten Holes’ last year. These guys are not completely devoid of a sense of humour and the track titles does indicate a bit of tongue in cheek humour. The music however, is nothing to joke about and is clearly intended to be relentlessly brutal, harsh and absolutely sick.
The samples used by Methadone Abortion Clinic are a means of enhancing the sickness professed by the music itself. The riffs are short, razor sharp and combined with a tight, slamming groove, they manage to achieve maximum impact in the short span of the tracks. Another asset in the band’s arsenal is the bass work, which provides the riffs with a solid, thundering foundation. The effect of the bass work is evidenced in tracks like ‘Homeless, Satan Bless’. The vocal work is another distinguishing feature of the band, wherein the vocal sounds like the sound one would get from a bong filled with thick sludge. Under usual circumstances, this type of vocals would be a turn off for me. But in the case of Methadone Abortion Clinic, it works fine, given the dirty and septic context of the record itself. The short span of the tracks works towards the band’s advantage. They help to achieve a quick impact and keep things fresh before the listener tires of the tracks. The band’s punk roots are felt in the short, spastic riffs.
Methadone Abortion Clinic manage to create an atmosphere that would make the listener want to get a tetanus shot by the end of the record, with minimum use of samples. Admittedly, this might not be everyone’s choice of style, but for sickos like yours truly, ‘Sex, Drugs and Rotten Holes’ is a mighty fine album.